Tricia Marwick, the former Presiding Office of the Scottish Parliament, has been announced as the new chair of NHS Fife.
The woman who served the Kingdom as an MSP for 17 years will replace Allan Burns, who unexpectedly quit in August as the health board continued to struggle with a GP crisis and financial pressures.
She was welcomed to the post by Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley, who represents Mid Scotland and Fife at Holyrood, and her SNP successor in Mid Fife and Glenrothes Jenny Gilruth after being appointed by Health Secretary Shona Robison.
Ms Marwick said: “I am delighted and privileged to have been appointed to be the chair of NHS Fife. My sincere thanks to Allan Burns the current chair for all his work over the last few years.
“I have spent all of my life in Fife and I have been honoured to champion Fife in the Scottish Parliament since 1999.
“There will be challenges but I will work tirelessly with the staff of NHS Fife, the Board members, political representatives and local communities to ensure our health service is the best it can be to meet the demands of the people of Fife.”
Ms Marwick was born and brought up in Fife and still lives locally. She was elected as an SNP MSP 1999 before resigning her party membership to become Presiding Officer in May 2011. She is also a member of HM The Queen’s Privy Council.
Mr Rowley said: “I want to congratulate Tricia Marwick on being made chair of NHS Fife. It is a massive job and there are major difficulties in NHS Fife. It is a major challenge for any chair.
“Tricia Marwick has demonstrated her ability to work with people, pull people together and show leadership.
“The qualities I witnessed in Tricia in the Scottish Parliament are are all strengths she will bring to that job.
“She also has support in many parts of Fife given her record as a community activist.
“I want to be clear that on day one there will be a letter on her desk waiting for her from me looking to have a meeting as soon as possible.
“Tricia Marwick has the experience to be able to face the big challenges we have within our health service in Fife.”
Ms Gilruth said: “I am thrilled that Tricia Marwick has been appointed as the new chair of NHS Fife.
“Tricia has dedicated her professional life in public service to Fife and I am absolutely delighted that she will be taking up this vital role.
“The First Minister has made it clear that we need more women to play a part in the public bodies which govern our services. So this appointment is great news for Fife’s girls and women too.
“I look forward to working with Tricia in her new capacity – I have no doubt that she will be outstanding.”
Dundee City East MSP Ms Robison welcomed the appointment and said she looked forward to working with Ms Marwick in her new role.
She added: “I’m pleased to be able to appoint Tricia Marwick as Chair of NHS Fife and I know that she will bring a wealth of experience to this important role.
“With extensive experience as an MSP and in community engagement, her passion and commitment to Fife; as well as her track record of providing strong leadership in complex strategic environments and engaging and influencing at the very highest levels, I know she will be well placed to take Fife NHS Board forward. I look forward to working with Tricia in this new position and in the months ahead.
“Whilst welcoming Tricia I would like also to recognise the significant role played by the outgoing Chair, Allan Burns. His commitment and leadership in driving improvement and raising performance within the NHS in Fife contributed to the success of some key programmes of work and the delivery of improvement and efficiency projects throughout the organisation.”